I love to collect old books. There, I said it. Books. Paper, ink, that old book smell. I grew up in Brooklyn and used to visit this awesome used book store on King’s Highway. I felt like I was in a treasure room.
Fast forward, um, a few years. Enter eBay. Wow! An entire WORLD of old books for the taking–er, buying. So, over the years I’ve collected. Nothing crazy. It was cheaper in the beginning because postage was much less expensive, and I only bought books that cost a few dollars. I’m not a collector of valuable books, or at least, books of monetary value.
Let’s go back in time a few more years to when I was a boy, perhaps 10 or 12. My father gave me a book. This wasn’t just any book, though. This was a rocket launcher propelling me to where I am today as a writer of science fiction and fantasy. Up until then I read what I had to at school but didn’t really love reading, though I enjoyed it. And the science fiction and fantasy genre was a vague concept rather than a true passion.
All that changed when my father gave me LUCKY STARR AND THE OCEANS OF VENUS by Isaac Asimov (writing as Paul French.) I loved it. I was hooked. And I wanted more. From there I took out all kinds of books from my local library and read. I read, I read, and I read. Not just sci-fi, but all kinds of books. BAMBI. RAMONA series. WIND IN THE WILLOWS. A WRINKLE IN TIME.
Reading turned to writing to express my own vivid imaginations, and in my teens I drafted the first version of PEACEKEEPER’S PASSAGE–but that’s a story for another blog!
Back to my opening point, I found a copy of LUCKY STARR AND THE OCEANS OF VENUS on eBay. Having this book in my possession again means a lot to me, because it reminds me of my father, and because it symbolizes a very important milestone in my early life. I’m half-tempted to read it again after all these years to see what I think of it now!
What was YOUR reading milestone?